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Up to $600 million will be injected into B.C. economy in next two months

The province will dole out $2 billion in new capital projects accelerated over the next three years.

The province will dole out $2 billion in new capital projects accelerated over the next three years, B.C.’s premier announced Tuesday at the start of a two-day economic summit.

The spending, said Premier Gordon Campbell, will include $500 million to $600 million that will be “on the ground” in the next 60 to 90 days.

“We’ve got to get this engine out and moving,” Campbell told hundreds of business people at the B.C. Economic Summit at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

The projects, which could range from housing to hospitals to roads, will create jobs in every part of the province. Campbell did not identify any specific project.

The $2 billion, he said, is in addition to $10.6 billion in approved capital projects and $1.4 billion in local infrastructure projects.

Campbell, who announced the summit during an October televised address, spoke about the need to reduce regional fragmentation and open free trade within Canada.

He also called for:

- A combined federal-provincial environmental assessment to prevent capital projects from getting tied up in the assessment process.

- Open skies agreements, allowing airplanes from different countries free access to Canada. Campbell said any country with an open-skies agreement with the U.S. should be able to land in Canada.

The summit, which ends Wednesday, aims to create an open forum to discuss economic opportunities for the province and explore ways to strengthen it.

 
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